BETHEL, Conn. -- Danbury resident Tony Heslin worked for Fortune 500 companies for 25 years but was ready for a change. Now he has opened Note Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant on Greenwood Avenue in Bethel.
"I was tired of corporate America. My vision was to create a place I would like to go to," Heslin said. "I enjoy food and music, and I wanted to pair them together."
Note Kitchen & Bar is in the location of the former 227 Wine Bar, which closed in May 2015.
The new restaurant serves American food with Asian, Mediterranean, Southern and Latin influences.
Items on the menu include cauliflower wings, which is lightly fried with a choice of plum ginger, garlic parm or buffalo sauce. "These are a play on chicken wings and taste just like them," Heslin said.
There is also a vegetarian entree called red and white quinoa pilaf and an Asian vegetable medley stir fried with kale, sesame, tahini and miso sauce.
The restaurant has live music performed by local groups four nights a week. Music varies from acoustic to rock to blues to folk. Upcoming groups performing at Note Kitchen & Bar include: Union Rail, John Fazio Jr., Bobby Paltauf and Frank Chaiafari.
"I feel that music and food create a really cool environment for people to relax and enjoy themselves. It's a pretty lively atmosphere in here," said Heslin, who, along with his wife, Shupta, have four children and one grandchild.
Heslin feels presentation of food s essential in the restaurant business. "The food should visually appeal to you," he said.
Chef Calin Sauvron said she has been working in restaurants since she was a teenager. "I've always enjoyed cooking. When I was a kid, my grandmother had a day care in her home and I was one of the kids in it. I would help her cook meals."
Other restaurants she has worked at include @ the Corner in Litchfield, the former Carmen Anthony Group with locations in Waterbury, Woodbury and Avon, and the former D'Amicos in Litchfield.
Sauvron, who is a Watertown resident, said one of her special dishes is lobster doughnuts. "We get whole lobster tails in fresh. We clean them and them in exact portions. We fry them in a thick Tempura batter. The batter fluffs so it looks like a Dunkin' Donuts munchkin on steroids," she said.
The fall menu will debut on Sept. 26. For fall flavors, she's bringing in local root vegetables from Holbrook Farm in Bethel such as beets, carrots and parsnips.
She said she is establishing a relationship with local farmers and believes in buying locally grown items.
"From these farms, you know the food you're getting is not going to be chemically altered. the food is grown by local farmers handed to your local chefs to cook clean organic food."
Note Kitchen & Bar is at 227 Greenwood Ave., Bethel.